The National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) governs tissue banks in the United States. NOTA dictates that tissues cannot be bought or sold. The law allows for reimbursement of the costs related to the recovery, processing and storing of tissue. It also allows for reimbursement of costs associated with development related to tissue processing technologies. The value of donated tissue is priceless, and reimbursements reflect the expenses incurred with their recovery, processing and storage.
Source: American Association of Tissue Banks.
Professor Howard Green: Pushing the boundaries of regenerative medicine since 1983 | October 23, 2013
Harvard Medical School professor Howard Green is an innovator and pioneer. In 1983, he changed the culture and direction of burn treatment and skin transplantation and has since, positively affected countless people’s lives.
Professor Green was able to harness the power of stem cells and developed the first therapeutic use of cells grown in a lab providing hope and relief for severe burn victims.
After realizing the importance and magnitude of his research, Professor Green responded by founding Biosurface Technology to handle the commercialization of the process intending to maximize the reach of his life-changing discovery.
Professor Green’s story is truly an inspiration, read the full Harvard Gazette article HERE.
One year ago, Joseph Gutierrez was unsure if he would ever be an active individual again. Thanks to a gift from a generous donor, Joe is not only physically active, but also active in spreading the word about organ and tissue donation. For Donate Life Month, Joe took to the local news station to tell his personal story about the healing effects of donation.
Donation is truly a gift. The many ways a single donor can save and enhance the lives of others becomes vaster as science advances. One way that donors of any age, shape or size can heal others is through donating skin. Skin serves a wide variety of healing purposes. In the article linked below, we see how skin helps heal those suffering from severe wounds. In this particular case, when other methods failed, donor skin was the last hope for healing.
To all those who are registered donors or have a family member who donated, the gift of donation truly does heal and save.
Your life is valued first.
If you are taken to the hospital after an accident or injury, it is the hospital’s first priority to save you. Only after each and every effort has been made to save your life and death has been declared is it even addressed that you are a donor.
So this isn’t technically a factoid, but we thought it was so much fun that it needed to be posted on a Friday.
Follow this link, scroll over the interactive figure and find out what each part of the body is used for when donated. You’ll learn a lot of “factoids,” and even have some Friday fun in the process!
To honor organ, eye and tissue donors, The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank is exhibiting photos taken by once blind photographers. The cornea transplant recipients were asked to take pictures of what they are most grateful to see after the surgery. In what has been named the Circle of Light Photo Project, the Eye Bank aims to thank donors through the beauty the recipients can now see.
See details on the location, dates and times for the exhibit in the link here.
Saying you want to be an organ and tissue donor on your license may not satisfy your state’s requirements to become a donor. Always make sure your family knows your wishes!
What medicine is capable of these days is truly astounding. These seven stories will remind you just how much donation can do.
Did you know that nearly every major religion endorses organ and tissue donation and sites it is a noble act?
Salmon fishing in Alaska, traveling throughout the country and even sky diving are all activities enjoyed today by Joe. When Joe talks about his active life, it’s hard to tell that less than a year ago, he was at risk of losing his arm.
“I was helping friends with yard work in Arizona when I noticed a pain in my arm,” said Joe. “At the time, I thought I had pulled something.”
Joe went about his daily life until the pain grew so bad, he could no longer lift his arm higher than his waist. Thinking he had a torn rotator cuff, he went to his personal doctor for x-rays.
“After the doctor took the x-rays he didn’t say much, he simply told me things were likely a lot more serious than we had thought,” said Joe.
Joe’s doctor referred to an orthopedist, who then referred him to Dr. Cynthia Kelly with The Denver Clinic for Extremities at Risk, as well as the Limb Preservation Foundation.
“He told me she was the best around,” said Joe.
In keeping with the theme of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here’s a great story from Lifeline of Ohio about a breast cancer survivor opting to use donor tissue in her reconstructive surgery. Enjoy here!
This Friday factoid is in honor of breast cancer awareness month!
Did you know that donated tissue can be used to help reconstruct a woman’s breast tissue after undergoing surgery for breast cancer?
It’s just one of the many great things donated tissue can do.
Did you know that donated skin saves the lives of burn victims and victims of other life-threatening skin conditions?
Congratulations to all those who were honored by the American Association of Tissue Banks. Your contributions to honoring the gift of donation are appreciated by your industry, recipients and donor families. See the list of winners below!
Congratulations 2012 AATB Award Winners
At the 2012 AATB Annual Meeting in Keystone, CO, the AATB recognized the following award winners. Please join us in congratulating them on their accomplishments.
Annual Association Awards
Jeanne C. Mowe Distinguished Service Award
David Gocke, MD
Medical Director, Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation
Kenneth W. Sell Memorial Award
Charles Sims, MD
Medical Director, California Cryobank, Inc.
George W. Hyatt Memorial Award
Lennox Archibald, MD, PhD
Memorial Hospital facilitated the most tissue donations of any hospital in Colorado last year, earning recognition for this life-saving work from the Colorado Hospital Association and Donor Alliance.
Memorial was recognized for its “outstanding efforts in promoting organ and tissue donation in Colorado.’’ Donor Alliance’s COO Jennifer Prinz and CHA President and CEO Steven Summer presented the award during the 87th annual meeting of CHA in Vail.
Donor Alliance and CHA created the awards in recognition of the commitment of Colorado hospitals, medical centers and health care professionals to saving lives through organ and tissue donation.
Memorial, now a part of University of Colorado Health, facilitated the most tissue donations in 2011 with 58 donors, as well as 11 organ donors, resulting in 36 organs transplanted. Each donor has the potential to save up to eight lives through organ donation and save and heal more than 100 through the gift of tissue donation. Last year in Colorado 134 organ donors and 966 tissue donors provided vital organs and healing tissue to thousands in need.
The AlloSource mission statement begins with Honoring the gift of donation, so when designing a tour of its new headquarter campus, honoring donors and donor families was front and center for the company. Pictured beside their son Cameron’s tribute are donor parents, Rob and Lori, as well as their niece Paige. After speaking at the grand opening, the family toured the building, and stopped to reflect by their son’s story and photos. To read about Cameron and his family, see our OPO Resources page, and click on Cameron’s story.
In recognition of AlloSource’s headquarter campus grand opening, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper designated September 21 Tissue Donor and Recipient Day in Colorado each year. Read more about the story here.
AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts, today celebrated the opening of its new headquarter campus in Centennial, Colorado. See coverage of the story in the video below.
With the emphasis on ever-needed organ donation, the importance of tissue donation often gets lost. Guest writing a colum for Autismspeaks.org, Jill James, PhD, director of the Autism Metabolic Genomics Laboratory at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, discusses the critcal role tissue donation plays in learning more about harmful diseases. Find out what discoveries she made through donated tissue here.
Social media is often criticized for its suspected negative impact on society and today’s youth. With the recent success of the organ and tissue donation section to Facebook however, many are rethinking their former stance and looking at the positive impact social media is having on the world at large. The article posted below talks about some of social media’s greatest humanitarian achievements thus far in 2012. Check it out here.
The National Kidney Foundation printed these 25 great facts about organ and tissue donation. Take a look and have your donation questions answered here.
There are more than one million tissue transplants performed annually in the U.S that save lives, relieve pain, improve mobility and even regenerate cells to form new skin and bone. Donated human tissue is processed into usable “allografts” for surgeons by tissue banks. The tissue banking industry is highly regulated by federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with state and local regulatory bodies to promote the safety of patients.
Another key group that promotes safety standards and best practices for honoring tissue donors is the nonprofit American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Since its founding in 1976, the AATB has promoted the safety, quality and availability of donated human tissue. The AATB is now considered the definitive source on safety and standards in the tissue banking industry, and most tissue banks in the country elect to become AATB-certified in a show of commitment to the organization’s high standards.
So why is the AATB important to you and me? The organization:
- Saves and improves lives of tissue recipients
- Makes tissue transplants safer for patients in need
- Ensures respectful treatment of tissue donors who have given the gift of life, by making certain that their gifts are maximized and produce safe and quality results
- Promises that new, safe possibilities for tissue transplantation will continue to emerge (more…)
As medicine continues to advance, so too do possibilities for tissue donation and transplant. One of the latest medical treatments available use stem cells from tissue donors.
Check out this exciting story out of Baltimore with Dr. Mark Myerson, director of Mercy Medical Center’s Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction. Dr. Myerson used AlloStem Stem Cell Bone Growth Substitute to re-grow bone in the ankle of a woman from New Jersey who was originally told her leg would have to be amputated following a devastating car accident.
AlloSource’s H.C. Martensen forges a deeper connection
to his work
H.C. Martensen works in the AlloSource tissue processing core where he is faced with the powerful realities and possibilities of tissue donation and transplantation every day. He also has the utmost confidence in the allografts that he and his tissue bank colleagues produce, so much so that he recently requested one for his own transplant.
Over the summer H.C. returned to his former university, Colorado College in Colorado Springs, for an alumni soccer game. He played on the team in college, and since then remained very athletic, participating in triathlons and skiing. However, at the time of the game, it had been a while since he’d played soccer. Following a cutting motion on the field he felt his leg let go below the knee. H.C. instantly knew what had occurred, not only because of his work, but also because a close friend had sustained a torn ACL just three days prior.
Shortly thereafter a surgeon confirmed it – H.C.’s ACL and lateral meniscus were torn and he needed surgery and an allograft transplant. Although the surgeon did not historically use allografts from AlloSource, H.C. made a special request to have his graft come from the tissue bank. (more…)